Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Sam Smith, the soulful Brit pop vocalist, was the undisputed champ at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. He took home four of the six trophies he was up for including Record of The Year and Best New Artist. Smith performed his award-winning tune, "Stay With Me" on the telecast Sunday night as a moving duet with Mary J. Blige.

Alt-rocker, Beck was the unexpected victor of the Album of The Year prize for "Morning Phase". No one was more surprised than Kanye West, who got on stage briefly during the presentation of Beck's award, seeming to think it would be funny to protest the win like he did to Taylor Swift at the MTV Music Awards.

For the fourth consecutive year, LL Cool J hosted the show but this time, he kept the talk to a minimum to allow the music to speak for it's self. There were twenty-three numbers over the course of the program and at almost four hours, it might seem like music overload. However, there were really no clunkers (although the ballads performed by Ariana Grande and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 with his former "Voice" judge, Gwen Stefani bordered on snoozy) and the show kicked off with the fiery first appearance on the Grammys by heavy-metal legends, AC/DC. I know they're not every one's taste but I thought they were great as they performed the title track from their latest album, "Rock or Bust" and their classic, "Highway To Hell".

Other highlights included Usher's uncomplicated but moving version of Stevie Wonder's "If It's Magic" (with the artist himself popping up at the end on harmonica), the oddball team of Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney performing their hot single, "FourFiveSeconds", Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett serving up a little jazz from their Grammy-winning record and the thrilling return of Electric Light Orchestra.

My favorite moments on the Grammys have been the pairing of veteran artists with new musicians. While not everyone appreciated their efforts, I enjoyed what Tom Jones and Jessie J. did with "You Lost That Lovin' Feeling" during their tribute to the songwriters, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Irish rocker, Hozier was delivering his Grammy-nominated hit, "Take Me To Church" but it was Annie Lennox who joined him and took it home. The duo continued with a fierce rendition of the "Screaming" Jay Hawkins song, "I Put a Spell On You" from her nominated album, "Nostalgia" with Lennox bringing down the house.

Finally, what would the Grammys be without a little spectacle? First, Madonna showed the world she's still got it with a high-energy performance of her new single, "Living For Love" which featured a herd of male dancers wearing elaborate bull masks and concluded with the pop artist being lifted up in to the air.

While I thought Sia's latest recreation of the music video for her live performance of "Chandelier" was entertaining (and included teen dancer, Maddie Ziegler and comedian, Kristen Wiig), I, for one, am tired of seeing the Aussie vocalist singing to a wall. Enough with the silly recluse act. Anyway, it was another great celebration of music.

Here is a partial list of the winners from the 2015 Grammys. For the complete list, click below:


ALBUM OF THE YEAR: "Morning Phase" - Beck
RECORD OF THE YEAR: "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" - Sam Smith
SONG OF THE YEAR: "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" - James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE: "Happy (Live)" - Pharrell Williams
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE: "Say Something" - A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera
BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM: "Cheek To Cheek" - Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: "In The Lonely Hour" - Sam Smith
BEST DANCE RECORDING: "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne
BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE: "Lazaretto" - Jack White
BEST ROCK ALBUM: "Ryan Adams" -Ryan Adams
BEST R&B PERFORMANCE: "Drunk In Love" -Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z
BEST R&B ALBUM: "Love, Marriage & Divorce" - Toni Braxton & Babyface
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE: "I" - Kendrick Lamar
BEST RAP ALBUM: "The Marshall Mathers LP2" - Eminem
BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE: "Something In The Water" - Carrie Underwood
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM: "Platinum" - Miranda Lambert


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